Tiny Cottage Bathroom Remodel ~ Design Inspo & Demo Pt.1

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Rachel Stone

Do you have a tiny bathroom needing a facelift? Is your storage at a premium, and do you dream of adding old world cottage charm? Today we kick off our cottage bathroom remodel series by sharing before pictures, discussing storage issues, and pouring over a lovely inspiration board!

Let’s take a look at the bathroom before we started! The first thing you see as you peek in the door is this small vanity pushed against the wall. This vanity is the main storage for this bathroom.

Above the vanity there is a shallow medicine cabinet, and to the left you see our tiny stand-in shower. I love the rain glass on this shower door as it never shows water spots!

In this picture you can see how tight the spacing is between the shower door and corner of the vanity. We hope to improve this with the remodel.

As you continue turning to the left you’ll see the toilet and a set of open glass shelves. I love the look of these sleek, airy shelves, but they are so narrow they aren’t terribly practical. These shelves, the vanity, and  the medicine cabinet make up the total storage from this bathroom. Fortunately, we don’t need much!

For many years I cleaned houses for a living & I must say ~ tile grout is not my friend! even though larger tiles have a more modern feel I would rather use them and reduce the amount of grout.

Opposite the glass shelves and behind the door is a nicely sized window that lets in a lot of welcome light making the space feel larger. I’m considering softening and framing the window by DIYing a vintage textile into a cottage style curtain.

So… back to the shower… The bulk of our challenges in this bathroom come from the shower.

  1. There is no place to store the shampoo & conditioner bottles.

  2. The shower head is at face level.

  3. And the motivation behind this remodel? The tile is cracked, coming loose, and has a mold that won’t quit!

Ok, now let’s look at some inspiration pictures for this cottage style bathroom remodel!

Matt & I would like to stick with the blue & white color palette for this bathroom, but which blue? The lighter blues are light and airy, creating a sense of space. Then there’s the slightly “off” medium blue that is quintessentially English. Lastly there’s the darker moody, dramatic blues… 

Matt & I both like these large tiles with soft grey veining for flooring. We are also considering laying the tile up the wall as wainscotting with a classic herringbone trim.

For the flooring in the shower we love this river pebble in a cool blue and grey tone.

This picture with the accent tile was very inspiring! What if we did a narrow panel from floor to ceiling to draw the eye upward giving a sense of visual height? And…what if we used a handcrafted looking mosaic tile in a serene blue?

Since we will be removing the back wall of the shower we can easily add niche storage in between the stud when the wall is rebuilt. The simplicity of these clear shampoo & conditioner bottles and unified color palette is very appealing. Something like this will be going on my shopping list!

Of all the things we are considering for this remodel I love to see if we can incorporate a pedestal sink. The simple, graceful design, visual lightness, and curves would offset the square lines covering most surfaces in the bathroom.

As I began researching pedestal sinks it became apparent rather quickly that proportion was often lacking! As you see in these two examples either the base is too tall with a tiny basic like a drinking fountain, or the base is squat with an oversized basin.

This pair of sinks are more balanced.The sink on the left has a nice back apron useful for keeping soap from running off. The right sink has a lovely curved basin that would probably ease into our tight spacing with the shower door better. Plus I love that Grecian column base!

I realized exchanging the vanity for a pedestal sink would reduce our storage, but I have a couple ideas to compensate for that!

First, as you see in the inspiration picture here a tall slender basket would slide easily under the sink to one side. Second, we could reuse the cabinet doors from the vanity and construct a built in cabinet to place over the toilet. It could be made to fit the storage baskets we already have. Seems like an even swap to me!

This would look (and feel) so much lighter!

What are your thoughts? Do you think this would work?

One of the best ways to personalize a space is to add time worn antiques as they add a sense of history. Especially if they tell your history. I have an antique from my childhood that I’m hoping will fit into this remodel.

In keeping with the sleek, simple lines of the pedestal sink I’d like to find a place to use the glass open shelving somewhere. I love the vintage inspired look of this faucet ~ maybe we can find something similar!

For many of the bathroom cosmetics I’ll be on the lookout for inventive, unexpected storage containers ~ in thrift or antique shops of course! I’m really looking forward to taking you along for that part!

Also on the list for adding cottage charm is layering in some vintage textiles. The crowning touch to just about any room (to me anyway) is the art work! Art defines the personality and mood of a space. For this tiny bathroom I’d love to come across a piece of old world cottage style art.

Then there’s paint colors to choose…What do you lean towards, friend? Light and airy sky blue? Mid tone slightly “off” and quintessentially English blue? Or dark, moody, dramatic blue?

Now it’s demo time! First thing is to remove the glass shelves to reuse later, then to remove tile… We begin in the shower removing tile from walls and ceiling. The back wall of the shower is shared by the guest bedroom closet. The space isn’t needed in the closet so we intend to move the shower wall six inches into the closet to gain space in the shower.

With the back wall removed from the shower you can see directly through into the closet from the bathroom!

As can be expected with any remodel there is usually a surprise… Ours came in the form of plumbing issues.to resolve this we (Matt) will be busting up the concrete down to the dirt to replace ancient pipe.

There is so much to do on projects like this! I hope you will be patient as we get to the next stage in this remodel of the next couple weeks.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the materials for the bathroom! I can hardly wait to show you how these tiles look installed on the wall!

Small Bathroom Remodel Part 2

Until our next visit, take care,


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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

6 thoughts on “Tiny Cottage Bathroom Remodel ~ Design Inspo & Demo Pt.1”

  1. Great video sweetie. You really did great work showcasing your ideas the bathroom. I like how you used so many pictures to demonstrate what you are thinking. I think anyone can picture exactly the look and feel you are going for.

    • Good morning, Miss Sharon!
      Thank you! We are loving the blue color scheme & pretty tile too. I’m excited to share the next phase!
      Have a lovely day!

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